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Feed Grass year round!
Sprouted Barley Fodder – A Revolution in Animal Feed!
LivingGreens inc Excellence and Development has an exciting Livestock Feeding Program
with LivingGreens inc (hydroponic fodder)
grown in a uniquely customized hydroponic/aquaponic growth system
Sprouted fodder is not a new idea. There are references to sprouting small grains for fodder dating back at least to the 1600s. What is new is the technology and engineering that makes it economically competitive with other feeding options. Light, moisture and consistent heat are critical for sprouted fodder to work. Attempts have been made using greenhouses to produce the sprouts, but have proven difficult and expensive for controlling humidity and heat. Greenhouses are just not consistent enough for reliable fodder production.
Experiments with fully automated hydroponic systems using artificial light were more stable and production more reliable. However, the lighting that has revolutionized sprouted barley fodder as a viable feed alternative is high efficiency fluorescent and LED lighting and more affordable climate control systems. LED lighting in particular is very energy efficient with little excess heat generated. Although LED is more expensive to buy upfront, the long-term operating expenses are greatly reduced. LEDs also last much longer than any other option, and do not lose output over time.
During severe droughts, barely fodder provides valuable nutrition when fresh pasture is not available. Here in the Canada, the sprouted barley fodder is often brought into the ration to replace protein previously supplied by dry grain. Of course, it is also beneficial in the winter season to bring fresh forage to the animals.
The main benefit of sprouted fodder in comparison to feeding grain is “improved protein, starch and sugar” (CROPP Cooperative’s “Sprouted Dairy Fodder” Technical Bulletin #10 by Dr. Sylvia Abel-Caines). Nearly all of the starch present in the grain is converted to sugar by sprouting, which is better utilized by the rumen than the dry grain. This reduces acidosis problems, as the rumen pH stays more stable without the constant input of starch.
“Mineral and vitamin levels in hydroponically-sprouted barley are significantly increased over those in grain; in addition, they are absorbed more efficiently due to the lack of enzyme inhibitors in sprouted grain. Sprouts provide a good supply of vitamins A, E, C and B complex. The vitamin content of some seeds can increase by up to 20 times their original value within several days of sprouting.” (“Sprouted Barley Fodder” Technical Bulletin)
Bob Holm of LivingGreens inc
points out that “when a cow eats fresh sprouted fodder, it is eating digestive enzymes that are not present in dry hay or in grain. It is highly digestible and nutritious.”
Why Barley and Not Other Small Grains?
Barley is the most nutritious of the small grains, stores well and is easy to grow. There has been experiments done extensively with wheat and oats, but has found that barley sprouts the best, grows the fastest and is most cost-effective of all the grains tried. To work well for sprouted fodder, the barley seed needs a high germination rate and must be very clean. Micro Greens recommends mixing seeds–a favorite of Fodder Feeds is 2 pounds of barley and 2 ounces of sunflower seeds, which yields 20 pounds (on average, a 10:1 ratio) when sprouted in their system.
A general rule of thumb is a yield of 1:7–one pound of barley seed will produce seven pounds of sprouted fodder.
The sprouted barley is harvested between six and eight days of growth. Nutrition will be lost but weight gained by days seven and eight. At harvest, the barley shoots will be about six inches tall with a two inch mat of interwoven roots. The sprouted grain is harvested by removing the tray or sliding the mat off the tray in one long sheet. The mats can be cut to the appropriate size and fed to animals. By starting new grain every day, the system can constantly provide fresh fodder.
Fodder Solutions barley sprouts have been tested at every stage of growth. The peak spectrum of nutrients are available at the 6 day growth stage, this is when the barley sprouts are harvested. The nutritional breakdown of the barley sprouts shows that the sprouts are very high in energy and protein and contain sufficient of these to meet the needs of most stock.
Barley grass is considered the most nutritional of the green grasses containing an abundance of nutrients unsurpassed by any other type of grass. The benefits of fresh green feed such as barley grass have been well documented over the past 50 years.
Barley grass has shown to increase the overall health of the animal through better digestion of the hay and grain. While overall wellness is the most noted result, studies indicate improved performance results in other areas as well. Not only will animals be healthier but also they will experience:
Greater energy and vitality
Stimulates the immune response
Reduction in antinutritional factors
Independent research studies have been conducted by qualified academic institutes that prove the value of using barley grass. These studies show that barley grass is both beneficial to livestock and cost effective as a substitute for the traditional fodder supplements.
There are many benefits to be found from using fresh “Micro Green” barley grass that has been hydroponically grown. When barley is sprouted it releases many vitamins and minerals as well as converting hard to digest starches in easily digestable proteins
Organic and affordable – Growing demand for economical “natural” animal feed as well as concerns relating to animal feed safety and the environment make Micro Greens an attractive means of providing affordable LIVE “green” feeds.
FEED FOR HORSES
FOR THE LIVING!
HYDROGREENS produce their own top-quality horse feed. Hydroponically grown fodder is sprouted grass or legumes that mimic fresh pasture, making it an ideal supplemental feed for natural grazers, like horses. Fodder is also highly digestible and packed with essential nutrients which will help keep horses, especially those with special dietary requirements, happy and healthy. Whether fodder is grown for supplemental feed or just a snack for horses, it will allow horse owners to gain control of their feed regimen and provide fresh, healthy feed year round.
Feeding fodder to horses will have a dramatic effect on their health and performance, and the benefits are noticeable immediately. They are grazers by nature and providing fresh vegetation year round with a FodderPro Feed System helps simulate their natural feeding process.
Supplying HYDROGREENS fodder as a supplemental feed each day will result in many benefits, including:
Less recovery time required after hard work
Reduced instance of colic, ulcers and inflammation
Earlier and more consistent heat cycles
Improved hoof health
Improved behavior and temperament
Higher energy levels
Improved coat gloss and appearance
Types of Feed
Legumes, such as alfalfa, have been fed to horses for centuries as dried hay. Legumes are high in protein, energy, calcium and other minerals. Fresh fodder sprouts are more digestible than hay and the nutrients are more readily available.
Customer: Samuel, Michigan - Horse farm - Standardbred horses
Ration: 14 lbs. to 16 lbs. oat fodder 3 lbs. to 5 lbs. alfalfa hay
"The health benefits really shocked me. I didn't expect to see such drastic improvements. The horses also really like the fodder. I haven't had a horse yet that wouldn't eat it. My horses will turn away from second cutting alfalfa hay to go eat the fodder."
Types of Feed
Legumes - Grasses - Cereal Grains
such as alfalfa, have been fed to horses for centuries as dried hay. Legumes are high in protein, energy, calcium and other minerals. Fresh fodder sprouts are more digestible than hay and the nutrients are more readily available.
Alfalfa - Clover
Another popular source of hay, grasses such as brome, fescue and timothy are a good choice for fodder. They are high in essential nutrients. Fresh, grass fodder sprouts are also high in fat and low in fiber, making them an excellent source of energy.
Brome Fescue Timothy
Naturally balanced in protein, energy and fiber, these sprouts are an excellent feed for horses. These sprouts are high in fiber, making them ideal as a supplement to hay. Grains are a good source of energy and contain 95% of the energy of corn. Grain fodder also has a low acid content compared to dried grains and concentrates, reducing the risk of ulcers and stomach upset.
Barley Oats Triticale Red Wheat